New academy director Bryan Klug says he feels like he has ‘come home’ to Ipswich Town

BRYAN Klug said returning to Ipswich Town was like ‘coming home’ after his appointment as the club’s new academy director was confirmed this morning.

The 51-year-old – who previously spent more than 30 years with the Blues as a player and a coach – started his new job this morning on a rolling contract.

Speaking at Portman Road this morning, he said: “It does feel like I’m coming home. I’ve had a really good two years at Tottenham. At the time it didn’t really feel like a good idea but it was a really good thing for my personal development to go and work with some top, top coaches.

“When I left Ipswich it was one of the only clubs I would have gone to because of their philosophy with their academy. That has been a plus but all the time I was obviously hoping that I would be able to come back and carry on working for this club, as I had done for many, many years.

“I’m really looking forward to the challenge. The EPPP (Elite Player Performance Programme) presents a lot of challenges because I think it’s geared to a model based on the top Premier League clubs.

“I think here at Ipswich we do things in our own way though and we’ve obviously got to find a way, within the strict guidelines, to carry on what we do here, which is produce top footballers from this area. It’s a big challenge and I’m really, really looking forward to it.”

Town chief executive Simon Clegg sadded: “I’m absolutely delighted that Bryan has accepted the opportunity of coming back to the club into a new role of academy director. I think using that particular title demonstrates the priority we are placing on this position and the academy going forwards.

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“Obviously EPPP is having a huge impact on youth development across the whole of England and all clubs in the Football League and the Premier League.

“When Sammy Morgan (former academy manager) decided he was going to move on it was critical that we found someone who we believed had not only the right coaching background but someone who has the other skill sets that are going to be necessary to take the academy forward in the future. I’m delighted that Bryan has come home to Ipswich.”

A host of former Blues players have hailed the appointment today, with both Richard Wright and James Scowcroft calling him ‘the best in the business’,

Former skipper Matt Holland added his wholehearted support for Klug’s return on Twitter, saying: “ITFC have made their best signing of the summer by bringing Bryan Klug back as academy director.”

Ex-keeper Shane Supple, who was in the 2005 FA Youth Cup-winning side during Klug’s last spell in charge at Playford Road, added: “You’re not wrong. Great to see Klugie back.”

Another member of that team, full-back James Krause, who these days is a performance analyst intern back at the academy, was similarly pleased with the appointment, saying: “Bryan Klug back as academy director is great news for the club.”

– Bryan Klug speaks more about his controversial departure from Ipswich Town under Roy Keane and his footballing philosophy for Town’s new-look academy in tomorrow’s EADT and Ipswich Star.